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Storm damage leads to makeover for Little Creek golf course

By John Gibb

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The City of South Charleston is giving the Little Creek Golf Course a facelift nearly nine years after the city acquired the property.

The clubhouse has been filled with scaffolding, drywall, paint and a crew of construction workers the past six months and is expected to have a grand reopening later this month. In addition, the city is in the process of building a separate facility that will house the golf pro shop.

Frank Mullens, mayor of South Charleston, said the damage that resulted from the June 2012 derecho essentially set off the trigger for the renovations.

"The storm demolished the entire wall and all the windows of our restaurant," he said. "We decided then that a complete overhaul was needed so we got to work immediately."

Chuck Hudson, general manager of the golf course, said the clubhouse is being transformed into a conference center that could accommodate 150-200 people.

He said the clubhouse currently has two rooms that can house small conferences and the renovations will add an additional two rooms.

Hudson said there is demand for small conference venues. With more rooms available, he hopes fewer conferences will be turned away because of lack of space.

"With high-tech businesses moving into the technology park next door, more and more businesses are going to want to use our facilities for meetings," Hudson said. "We want to accommodate everyone and the extra space will help us tremendously. There is no worse feeling than having to turn away business."

The renovations will incorporate technology of the 21st century. The rooms will have video and telephone conference capabilities, projector screens and modern computers.

Carlton Lee, South Charleston city manager, said the renovations would provide the golf course a chance to succeed. He said with parking an issue around the clubhouse, the building of the new golf shop would separate golfers from clubhouse users and would allow for more parking. The golf shop is being built next to the tennis courts and swimming pool.

There is no timetable as to when the building will be finished.

Lee said the clubhouse renovations take priority at this point.

Hudson said construction crews are widening hallways in the clubhouse to make them handicap accessible. In addition, the clubhouse restaurant received a makeover with new windows and flooring and is slated to reopen later this month following the grand reopening.

"Our restaurant is considered the best-kept secret in town," Hudson said. "I will enjoy seeing our clientele back up here eating. It's been a long time waiting."

The first floor renovations should be finished by the end of the month, while the second floor renovations are planned to start in December and wrap up in June 2014. The second floor contains the ballroom and a couple conference rooms.

Hudson said the ballroom is used for weddings, reunions, proms and other celebratory events. There are 23 weddings scheduled for this year, which is up from just five weddings in previous years.

Contact writer John C. Gibb at john.gibb@dailymail.com or 304-348-4872.

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